Top 5: Recapping the Arizona Invitational
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
The Arizona Wildcat Invitational ended yesterday and there was some home cooking down in the desert. The Arizona ladies won their own event by 11 shots over California, but this tournament told us so much more than that.
1.) Welcome to the season ASU: Finally, the Sun Devils have played in a tournament as a team. It was odd to search the rankings and not find a team simply because they didn’t have a record. However, now the Sun Devils can say they have a winning record going 13-2 in the tournament. A third place finish is great, but Carlota Ciganda was the team’s only finisher in the top 10. Daniela Ordonez was their next best at T-15, shooting 10 over for the three rounds. Ciganda shot 2 over.
2.) Cal let one get away: The Golden Bears had a golden opportunity to sneak out a win in the desert. Unfortunately, the Bears shot themselves out of contention by shooting a 312 (24 over) in the third and final round. Host Arizona shot a 303 (15 over) and went on to win by nine shots. Entering the tournament, Arizona was ranked 11th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, but with their win over seventh-ranked Cal this may just be the type of head-to-head victory they need to get back into the top 10.
3.) Pac-10 Strength: Right now the Pac-10 Conference has three teams in the top 10 (UCLA, Southern California, and Cal). After this win by Arizona, they may have four. Also, ASU now has a team roster and it will only be a matter of time before they start climbing the rankings as well. The Pac-10 has a total of six teams in the top 30 and is making a strong case as the strongest conference in women’s college golf.
The SEC, however, has eight teams ranked in the top 30. The only difference though is that when you look at teams that could potentially win an NCAA championship, the Pac-10 leads the way with three teams that could be called favorites (USC, UCLA and Cal) at College Station in May as oppose to the SEC’s two (Alabama and LSU).
4.) Oklahoma State hurting: The Cowgirls had an unprecedented 13th-place finish at the tournament and shot 80 over as a team. To make matters worse their scores got higher after each and every round 306-310-328. With this rough finish, the No. 29 team in the country took some tough head-to-head losses to teams like New Mexico State (55), New Mexico (58), San Jose State (68), Gonzaga (99), and Idaho (104).
5.) Winner, Winner: Arizona junior Isabelle Boineau won by two shots in a field that consisted of several top players. With a total of 212 (4 under), Boineau won by two shots over Cal’s Joanne Lee. Arizona is a team that is talented enough to make a run in the post season, but if they can continue to get great individual play from their upperclassmen then this team can be really dangerous.
This is a nice win for Boineau on her home course, but now we will have to see if she can take and win with her talents away from home.